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Rudy Giuliani Weighs In on Arizona: “You Can’t Really Dispute It the Numbers and Categories are Sufficient to Really Change the Election”

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2020 Election

Enforcement of Arizona Senate’s Maricopa subpoena ‘unlikely’ with reported GOP holdout

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County failed to comply with first Senate subpoena; “critical” routers still remain unavailable to auditors.

The enforcement of the Arizona Senate’s second subpoena of election materials from the state’s Maricopa County depends upon achieving a majority vote in the chamber that one Republican senator says is “unlikely” due to a reported GOP holdout.

State Senate Republicans this week issued a fresh subpoena to the county, demanding a fresh wave of documents related to the 2020 election there as an ongoing forensic audit of results approaches a conclusion. 

Key among the requested materials from the second subpoena are routers used by Maricopa County to handle data processing from multiple county departments, including some related to elections. Those routers have been at the center of a months-long battle between Maricopa officials and Senate-commissioned auditors. The county has insisted that the security risks of handing the routers over is too high, while auditors have argued that it is “critically important” to obtain them to ensure a thorough audit. 

Whether or not the county will comply with the second subpoena is unclear. Also unclear is whether or not the state Senate will enforce the subpoena.

State Sen. Kelly Townsend says the enforcement of the order depends upon a unified GOP vote in the chamber, which she claimed is presently just out of reach. 

“The only way we are allowed to enforce the subpoena is to be in session and take a vote as the entire Senate body who holds the Board of Supervisors in contempt, and we need a majority of 16 to pass,” she told Just the News on Tuesday. “We only have 15 votes, so it’s unlikely we will be able to enforce this subpoena, either.”

“The dissenting vote is Sen. Paul Boyer,” she added.

Boyer did not respond to requests for comment from Just the News. Earlier this year he was the lone Republican in the state Senate to vote against holding the Maricopa Board of Supervisors in contempt.

State statute delcares that “if a witness neglects or refuses to obey a legislative subpoena … the senate or the house may, by resolution entered in the journal, commit him for contempt.” Individuals who are “neglecting or refusing to attend in obedience to a subpoena maybe arrested by the sergeant-at-arms and brought before the senate or house,” the statute continues. 

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The audit has been among the most visible and contentious of the Republican-led investigations into the 2020 election since last November. 

State-level GOP representatives in the months since the election have spearheaded efforts to examine and assess the U.S. election system due to concerns about security vulnerabilities in the voting process. 

Democrats and commentators have dismissed the efforts as conspiracy theory-motivated witch hunts. Multiple inquiries, meanwhile, have led to mounting calls for certain key reforms of state-level election practices. 

The Michigan legislature, for instance, concluded earlier this year that though the state was not wracked by voter fraud in the November election, the practice of mailing unsolicited absentee ballots — a measure undertaken last year by many election officials, including the Michigan Secretary of State — posed “a clear vulnerability for fraud that may be undetected.”

Audit documents from Georgia, meanwhile, exposed what appeared to be, at the very least, significant election data management failures from Fulton County, notorious throughout Georgia for its poor management of elections. 

Fulton has also been a source of controversy due to the ongoing mystery of its handling of absentee ballots on election night, when ballot workers at the county’s State Farm Arena appeared to be dismissed early from their posts, after which a skeleton crew of workers stayed behind to scan ballots largely unsupervised. 

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Election

Department of Justice Warns States Against Violating Federal Law With Audits

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Department of Justice officials on Wednesday alerted states that they’re tracking closely the 2020 election audit  taking place in Arizona and proposed audits in several other states.

The new guidance document  summarizes the Biden administration’s position on federal law concerning audits, deeming the round of reviews either done, being done, or proposed “unusual” and “exceedingly rare” while highlighting that federal law imposes constraints under which counties and states must comply.

The laws include the Civil Rights Act of 1960, which mandates the retention of election records for 22 months after a federal election, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlines that no person “shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote.”

The former, for instance, makes it the duty of election officials to maintain the security and integrity of the records and safeguard their chain of custody, “so that a complete and uncompromised record of federal elections can be reliably accessed and used in federal law enforcement matters,” the document states.

“Where election records leave the control of elections officials, the systems for maintaining the security, integrity, and chain of custody of those records can easily be broken. Moreover, where elections records are no longer under the control of elections officials, this can lead to a significant risk of the records being lost, stolen, altered, compromised, or destroyed. This risk is exacerbated if the election records are given to private actors who have neither experience nor expertise in handling such records and who are unfamiliar with the obligations imposed by federal law,” it adds, in a clear reference to the audit being done in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The GOP-controlled Arizona Senate last year ordered the audit, tapping Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, which has no election audit experience.

Violators of the Civil Rights Act face fines of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year for each violation.

“The reason we’re issuing this as guidance is to tell jurisdictions, generally, that we are concerned that if they’re going to conduct these audits, so-called audits of the past election, they have to comply with federal law, and warning them that they can’t conduct these audits in a way that is going to intimidate voters,” a DOJ official told reporters in a call about the guidance.

“This document sets down a marker that says the Justice Department is concerned about this and we will be following this closely,” the official added.

Officials noted that Attorney General Merrick Garland last month said the DOJ would focus in part on scrutinizing audits

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 to make sure they comply with federal laws.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, who ordered the audit, told The Epoch Times at the time that “Democrats have been trying every avenue they can to stop or discredit this audit.”

“I’m sure this will be one of many avenues they will pursue post audit as well,” Fann, who did not reply to questions on Wednesday, wrote in an email.

Arizona’s attorney general, Republican Mark Brnovich, warned Garland in June that his office would “not tolerate” any attempt to thwart the audit, which is widely opposed by Democrats, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Maricopa County agreed to lease new machines from Dominion Voting Systems after Hobbs said the audit may have left them compromised and Pennsylvania’s top elections official decertified machines from Dominion in Fulton County after an elections assessment was done.

The Maricopa County effort is by far the largest post-election review in the nation. Auditors hand tallied the ballots cast last year—nearly 2.1 million, according to county officials—and examined hundreds of machines used to count votes.

Auditors are expected to complete their physical work this week. A final report on what they found is expected to be released next month.

An initial plan to canvass households from which questionable votes were cast was put on hold after Pamela Karlan, a DOJ official, reached out to Fann to express concern about possible voter intimidation. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan at a hearing this month recommended the canvass happen to clear up worries about some of the ballots auditors reviewed.

The Arizona audit has inspired lawmakers in other states. Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, recently initiated a review of the 2020 election three counties after visiting the audit, though two of the counties have signaled they will not cooperate. Legislators and election integrity groups in Georgia and Wisconsin are pursuing similar efforts.

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Auditors Finish Counting Ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County

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Auditors in Arizona’s largest county on Wednesday finished a third count of ballots and will shift to compiling a draft report on the audit results.

Workers overseen by retired auditor Randy Pullen, a former Arizona Republican Party chair, completed the third count at the Wesley Bolin Building on the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, according to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann.

“The physical tabulation of the ballots are complete and are being returned to Maricopa County tomorrow,” Fann said via email.

The data gathered by the auditors will now be taken to their labs for analysis.

Teams led by Florida-based Cyber Ninjas last month finished an initial hand tally of the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 election.

The third set of numbers was needed because the initial recount and the number Maricopa County reported didn’t match, Fann said earlier this month.

Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors has repeatedly attacked the auditors and Jack Sellers, the chairman of the board, saying that the methods used were “flawed” and would “produce incorrect results.”

In the third count, workers led by Pullen only tabulated the number of ballots, instead of marking down some or all of the votes like auditors and the county did.

The third count was done on the advice of the Arizona Senate Republicans’ attorney, according to Fann.

The completion of the physical audit work comes after days of tension between Cyber Ninjas and Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state tapped by Fann to serve as the state Senate’s audit liaison.

Bennett said Monday that he was considering stepping down after being blocked from the audit following his sharing of some of the auditors’ findings with outside analysts, casting doubt on whether the third count was done independent of Cyber Ninjas. On Wednesday, he told radio host James Harris he would resign later in the day.

“I do remain locked out of the audit and as such, it’s impossible for me to really function as the liaison,” he said.

Bennett did not respond to a request for comment. He later told the Arizona Mirror that he had reached a deal with Fann to remain as the liaison.

While speaking to Harris, Bennett remained open to helping examine the draft report and final report, but said he would only do so if he had access to the source data and any other information used to produce the report.

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“I can’t just come in at the last minute and be asked to endorse something I can’t be a part of really building the way it needs to be built,” he added.

Fann told The Epoch Times in an email that senators do not have access to the numbers the auditors have tallied.

“We should not be looking over their shoulder, telling them how to do their job or asking for premature information. When the audit is complete, then they will need to provide us with all their proof and documentation of their results,” she said.

She also said in a statement that it was irresponsible of Bennett to disclose how many ballots were in some of the boxes to a trio of analysts who have repeatedly disparaged the audit.

But she said Bennett would “be involved and a vital part of the draft and final reports to ensure their accuracy with his knowledge and contributions throughout the audit process.”

The completion also came after the Department of Justice issued a new warning against audits like the one conducted in Arizona, and after Arizona senators subpoenaed the county and Dominion Voting Systems—whose machines the county uses to run elections—for more election-related data, including administrative passwords for the machines.

Both county officials and Dominion have refused to hand over more information, despite a judge ruling in February the initial subpoenas issued last year lawful.

Without the additional data, the final report will be incomplete, state Sen. Warren Peterson, a Republican, told a hearing in mid-July.

“We sincerely hope Maricopa County will produce the missing documents and information we have requested for the audit to be complete and finalized. The voters deserve to know their votes are safe, secure, and legally counted,” Fann said.

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